Analysis of A400M potential

Defense Procurement has this item looking at the possibilities of Airbus selling the A400M to other markets, including the USA.

12 Comments on “Analysis of A400M potential

  1. The 4+ year late and we cannot build it at your price anymore EADS A-400 has no future in the US Military. If the US wanted or needed an airlifter between the C-130J and the C-17, there are other aircraft in developement that would be better suited for the USAF, like the Brazilian C/KC-390 or the Japanese XC-2.

    As for other nations considering buying the A-400 (beyond Malaysa and the EU), why would they? The A-400 does not have a definate fixed price (and may never have due to the financial arrangement for export sales aid) and it has not proven it can meet its current specs.

    This procurment study by the DOD may just be an olive branch being held out to the EU and EADS incase they don’t win the KC-X contract.

  2. I wonder why the author omitted mention of the Embraer KC-390. Its been getting a lot of press lately. Although it is not similar in size to the A400M (like the C-130J) it too has the potential for taking foreign sales that might otherwise have gone to the airbus plane. In fact, that process has probably started with Chile, Colombia, Portugal, and the Czech Republic announcing their interest. The UAE is also talking.

    Flight Global noted that Portugal’s interest was “a blow to Airbus Military”.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/09/13/347235/embraer-portugal-could-buy-six-kc-390s.html

    • If the A400M is a basket case of a commercial project, the KC-390 is in another orbit again.

      The Brazilian Government is going to get a BIG check!

  3. I think the A400M has the potential to be a great plane. Its combination of flexibility and performance looks to have no rival. But as a commercial program, it’s a disaster. Commercial success was predicated on sales to the one market that matters – the USA. This was always doubtful.

    • When all that bruhaha started with liberty fries and “buy US” was mandated by
      every politician with a populistic incling, Rumsfeld kept pretty quiet in
      respect to supplier selection.
      Too much of his Wundergimmmicks coming from abroad ( as tangible item or as design produced localy under license ).

      So imho it is : wait a bit and don’t make too much noise. things will happen.

  4. Initially, the Airbus A400M was designed from scratch with a dual use in mind, military as well as rescue operations.
    As now more and more institutional customers are considering it for humanitarian purposes (‘food bomber’), disaster relief and repatriation jobs (‘flying hospital’) instead of military uses, EADS is starting to cautiously and carefully change the image of the A400M in that direction.

  5. The tanker issue is now on a fixed course. With the dismissal of the Ukrainian protest for missing the September 16 deadline, bidders have been told to prepare to win-and-start by November 12 with final resolution set by December 20.

    I suppose that they COULD extend those dates, but there are no announcements that say that. There are always wannabes that claim to have ‘facts’, though.

    How is the A400M going in its testing? I never heard about resolution about the reduction in payload that brought it under 30T, which was critical for the Germans. Anyone with news?

    • As I know, the problem was not maximum payload, but maximum payload ferry range. A400 should be capable to ferry 37 tons, but maybe not at the distance as promissed. Unfortunately, I did not hear any news in this topic as well.

      • Looking around you find empty weights
        of 70t, 76t, 78.6t noted. ( with the 70t value looking like taken from some very preliminary data )
        I’ve heard Airbus murmuring about 4t
        baby fat and decreasing.
        The most exorbitante numbers are 12t.

        Taking the absolute care people like topboom invest to never, ever underestimate problems from their european friends,
        my guess is they measure from the lowest historically available Empty Weight.
        thus (70t + 12t) ~= (78 + t4t).
        My personal guess here is an Empty Weight slightly above 80t, no degradation in max payload and the remaining “points” lacking taken up by better than planned engine sfc and a slight MTOW increase.

  6. Kawasaki Heavy Industries is making Airbus look pretty stupid. If I were a European defence Minister I would make a point of visiting Japan.

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